Raspberry and Chocolate Tarlets

Raspberry tartlets  - final

I’ve been dabbling in patisserie with varying degrees of success. What should have been a chocolate and caramel tartlet ended up as an incredibly bitter split ganache encasing a solid toffee of the kind that’s always left in the chocolate tin at Christmas. Even LSH couldn’t eat it!

This one worked a lot better – mixing some milk chocolate in with the dark moved it from bitter to rich and the sharp raspberry jelly cuts through it perfectly (I suspect that orange would work equally well). The recipe below makes 4 10 cm tartlets.

First the pastry – Beat together 100g of butter with 50g of icing sugar and a pinch of salt until pale and fluffy.

Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp lemon extract whilst still beating and then one lightly beaten egg. Stir in 125g of plain flour and carefully bring together into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for a least 2 hours.

Lightly flour a worktop and roll out thinly. Line your tartlet tins and chill for at least 30 min before trimming. Blind bake at 180C for 15min. Remove the baking beans and reduce the temperature to 160C and continue to bake for another 5-10mins until golden.

Raspberry tartlets - chocolate liningMelt 20g of dark chocolate and brush into the pastry cases, ensuring that the bottom and the sides are fully coated. Leave to cool.

For the raspberry jelly. Put 140g of frozen raspberries in a pan with 2 tbsp of caster sugar. Cook of a low heat until all the juices have been released. Seive into a jug.

Raspberry tartlets - jelly

You should have about 100ml of juice. Add gelatine using the instructions on the packet. Pour a small amount into the bottom of each tartlet – just enough to cover the base to a depth of a couple of millimetres. Leave to set.

Raspberry tartlets - inside

For the chocolate ganache finely chop 80g of dark chocolate and 40g of milk chocolate. Scald 100g of double cream and then take off the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s all melted and glossy. Pour over the top of the raspberry layer and leave to set, preferably at room temperature.

Serve with cream.

A Final Taste of Summer: Rose-scented Strawberry Tarts

Strawberry tart

We came back from holiday to a late burst of summer sun which meant that the return to “normal life” wasn’t as bad as it could have been. However the boots and jumpers are now out of the wardrobe, the final flush of roses are starting to die off and rain is currently hammering against the kitchen window. It’s only a matter of time before we clear out the veg and fruit beds in preparation for winter. So it’s time for a tasty fruit tart to try and recapture those summer memories.

Strawberry tarts - cases I came up with this tart to use some of my rose petal jelly . The pastry base is a Pate Sucree recipe from the Leith’s Baking Bible (if you’re into Baking it’s worth getting a copy as pretty much every baking technique or recipe you could want is in here). I didn’t follow the method precisely and ended up just bringing all the ingredients together on my worktop as you would for pasta. The important thing here is to chill once the mix is brought together and then chill again once you’ve put it into the pastry cases. I didn’t trim until after this second chilling when I then cut it along the rim of the cases before blind baking. As you can see there was no shrinkage (hurrah!).

Strawberry tarts - creme patI left these to cool whilst I did the creme patisseire. Again this was a Leith’s recipe with the addition of a couple of drops of rose water, rather than vanilla extract, once the custard had been made. It’s important to taste at this stage – you can always add a bit more flavour if you think it needs it. Again chill and when you’re ready to use give it a quick beat before carefully folding in the whipped cream and putting into the pastry cases.

Strawberry tart - preglaze

I then arranged half strawberries on top of the creme pat before making the glaze. This was a couple of heaped tablespoons of rose petal jelly which I heated in a pan with a splash of lemon juice. Once it was thin I used it to glaze the tarts using a silicon brush. The tarts were then chilled until ready to serve.

The rose petal jelly and rose water just gives the tarts a hint of that summery rose fragrance which works really well with the strawberries. A definite splash of summer for a rainy day.

Strawberry tarts - final